As a part of my assistantship this year, I get to work with the DigiLab in the Main Library at UGA. It’s a fun little gig where I get to do presentations, workshops, and seminars on digital humanities, in addition to helping researchers one-on-one on their own projects.
I’ve always been fairly tech savvy in my research. I minored in Linguistic Computing and had a job as an undergrad creating eBooks. I’ve always been fairly quantitative about things too, and I went over to the stats department last year and took classes on linear regression and multivariate analysis.
This week is my first presentation where I’ll show how to extract data from primary sources, introduce people to spreadsheets, and showcase JMP. If you’ve never heard of it, JMP (pronounced “jump”) is a pretty sophisticated piece of statistical software that can do all sorts of statistical analyses and visualizations. The great part is it’s drag-and-drop interface. No coding means it’s great for beginners.
I’ll be the first to admit that JMPs visualizations (at least as well as I can make them) are not as good as what I can do with ggplot2 in R. But I do like how easy it is to make quick and dirty visualizations in JMP. For this reason, it’s usually my go-to when exploring a new dataset. With just a few clicks, it makes it really easy to get to know your data visually as well as what’s under the hood.
As far as I know, JMP is not widely used in Linguistics or even in the Humanities, so showcasing it will be a lot of fun to people this week. I still think that everyone should learn R for their research, but since coding can be intimidating, JMP is a great tool for researchers wanting to get more quantitative about their projects.
Update (October 7): I just finished the presentation. I had about a dozen people in attendance, and I was the youngest person in the room. And besides the one other grad student there, I was probably the only one without a Ph.D. But, I feel like it went well. Not to mention, it was the first time I was introduced before a presentation, and there was food!